Over the years I’ve heard the normal condemnations about Massachusetts residents. It usually took the form of calling our neighbor to the north and the east Taxachussets, and calling it’s resident Massholes.
But over the years I’ve made some observations. Massachusetts has a lower overall tax rate than we in Rhode Island. For example, they pay a 5% sales tax, we pay 7% and get this, on prepared food we pay 8%. This doesn’t just apply to restaurants but when you buy prepped food in a supermarket, you pay the higher tax rate. Not that our state tax isn’t exactly fair, and add to it the excise and property taxes in the state. For example, in the city of Providence a $200,000 house would cost approximately $6,400 a year or $533.33 a month! People in Massachusetts have capped their property taxes.
While I’m on a roll here, the dear Gov of RI wants to furlough state employees for 7 days in the coming fiscal year. But here’s the thing, why not give state employees a four day work week and leave pay the same. The savings on infrastructure alone would be significant. But then even though our Gov comes from the business world, he does NOT understand bureaucracy. His Fiscal Fitness exercise did nothing but cost the state money when there were real solutions waiting to be discovered, like maybe getting a return on technology investment. Right now old computers simply get warehoused and sit and rot. Collecting just a residual value ($50) would net the state quite a chunk. Same goes for pretty much everything the state does.
The Masshole label is mostly for their drivers. But here’s something I’ve noticed. Rhode Islanders don’t know what the two parallel that cross streets happen to be. In fact RI drivers will speed up when you’re in the middle of a crosswalk. Massachusetts drivers will actually stop!
Then of course there is highway driving. In Rhode Island if you signal a lane change the thought going through the minds of your fellow Rhode Islanders is “Oooo.. look at the pretty flashing light.” You take your life in your own hands making a lane change in congested highway conditions here. In Massachusetts when you signal a change a hole opens up in the lane in which you want to go.
Maybe we Rhode Islanders should be a bit more introspective. We have our own problems.